Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Henry Brewer of Western Pennsylvania

The discovery of another man named Henry Brewer, who lived in western Pennsylvania during the last few decades of the 1700s, begins with a profile of Benjamin Brewer found in History of La Porte County, Indiana (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1880), pages 699-700. A copy of the pages was found among the documents and copies collected by William B. Bogardus.

Benjamin Brewer, History of La Porte County, Indiana (1880), pp. 699-700

The portrait of Benjamin Brewer states that he was born 27 January 1796 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and names his parents as Henry and Jane Brewer, "the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Maryland." Benjamin Brewer was living in Galena, La Porte County, Indiana in 1880 (he died in 1885) and it is in all likelihood that he was the source for this information. So we search for this Henry Brewer.

The portrait further states that the family moved to Kentucky in 1799, resided there for four years, and then moved to Clarke (sic) County, Indiana, "where Mrs. Brewer died." It continues, "Mr. B. moved to Owen County, where he died."

Using the resources and databases at, we find an entry in "U.S. and International Marriage Records," for Henry Brewer, birth year stated as 1775, married Jane (no surname given) in 1793 in Pennsylvania (township and/or county not given). It has to be emphasized that the "U.S. and International Marriage Records" database is NOT a collection of actual records*, but is a collection of names and events gathered from numerous compiled sources. This database is not acceptable evidence for a claim, but can be used as a clue for a continued search for more reliable records. In this case, if we make the assumption that this entry is for the parents of Benjamin Brewer of La Porte County, Indiana, then it is apparent that the year of Henry's birth is incorrect.

Henry Brewer is not found as a Head of Household on the 1790 census in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. If he had not yet married, as inferred from the above entry in the "U.S. and International Marriage Records" database, he would have more likely been living in the household of his father, and so his name would be absent from the census record. The portrait of Benjamin Brewer states that Henry Brewer moved to Kentucky in 1799 and lived there for four years before moving to Clark County, Indiana. Unfortunately, U.S. census records for Kentucky in the year 1800, do not exist. However, in 1807, we find Henry Brewer on a voter list in Clark County, Indiana (, "Indiana, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890"). This is our first verification of Henry Brewer.

There are no U.S. census records for the year 1810 in Indiana, which did not become a state until 1816. (The Indiana Territory had been created in 1804 out of the former, Northwest Territory which had been created in 1787. See IHB: Northwest Ordinance of 1787). In 1820, Henry Brewer is enumerated on the U.S. census at Charlestown, Clark County, Indiana, with a household of 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 1 male over 45, 2 females under 10, 1 female 16-25, 1 female over 45. In 1820, Benjamin Brewer is also found at Charlestown, Indiana, with a household of 1 male 16-25, 1 female under 10, and 1 female 16-25.

Henry Brewer, 1820 Charlestown, IN (NARA, image downloaded from
Benjamin Brewer, 1820 Charlestown, IN (NARA, image downloaded from

I have been unable to locate Henry Brewer in Indiana in 1830. Benjamin Brewer can be found in 1830 at Jeffersonville, Clark County, Indiana, with a household of 1 male under 5, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 30-40, 1 female under 5, 1 female 10-15, and 1 female 20-30.

In the portrait mentioned above it is stated that Henry Brewer's wife died in Clark County and Henry moved to Owen County. Henry Brewer can be found on the 1840 U.S. census at Clay, Owen County, Indiana, with a household of 2 males under 5, 2 males 5-9, 1 male 10-14, 1 male 80-89, 1 female under 5, 1 female 5-10, 2 females 15-19, 1 female 40-49. It has to be assumed that Henry, the head of household, is the male aged 80-89, which then places his birth as between 1750 and 1760 (this does not agree with the "U.S. and International Marriage Records" entry mentioned above, and is probably the more accurate of the two). Henry Brewer is not found after 1840 and he likely died prior to 1850, in Owen County as stated in the portrait of Benjamin Brewer.

A search of the 1850 U.S. census for the surname BREWER, in Clay, Owen County, Indiana, finds as a head of household, and Elizabeth Brewer, age 54, born in South Carolina. Perhaps she is a second, younger wife of Henry Brewer, and is the female age 40-49 in the 1840 U.S. census record. Elizabeth's household includes George W. Brewer, age 14, Rachel Brewer, age 12, and Samuel M. Brewer, age 10. Additional research among the probate and also the land records of Owen County is needed. For now this record serves as a clue for locating additional descendants of Henry Brewer. Also in Clay, Owen County, Indiana in 1850, as a head of household, is a William Brewer, age 20, with Anna E. Brewer, age 21, and Margaret Brewer, age 6 months. They are enumerated just prior to Elizabeth Brewer and her household.

William Brewer, Elizabeth Brewer, 1850 Clay, Owen Co., IN (NARA, downloaded from

 Benjamin Brewer can be found in La Porte County, Indiana in 1840, and in Galena, La Porte Co., Indiana in 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. He died 6 April 1885 (there is a Find A Grave entry for Benjamin). As per the portrait in History of La Porte County, Indiana, Benjamin was married twice (Sarah Parke/Parks and Elizabeth Roney/Rooney?). Details on descendants have been worked out using the resources at and Benjamin's page can be found here. Benjamin had seven children, but only one of them was a son, James Brewer (1830-1856). James Brewer, in his short life, did have three sons, at least one of whom, Benjamin Arthur Brewer (1855-1918) probably has direct male descendants living today. If so, Y-DNA testing of one such direct male descendant, through the Brewer DNA Project, would supply the genetic data needed to narrow down the possible ancestry of Benjamin Brewer and his father, Henry Brewer.

Henry Brewer's wife was named Jane (History of La Porte County, Indiana). A few user submitter Family Trees at, discovered while conducting this search, claim that her name was Jane Hurdley, but none supply evidence for this claim and so we proceed from here with that surname followed by a question mark, Hurdley(?). A few Trees also place Henry as a son of Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834) and Catharine Mellinger, but this does not seem possible. Benjamin and Catharine were married in 1781, which is too late to have a son named Henry who in turn was married in 1793, only 12 years later. However, a link between Henry Brewer and Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834) does appear to exist. Henry's son, Benjamin Brewer (1796-1885) was married (second wife) to Elizabeth Roney (1804-1872). She is claimed to be a daughter of James Roney and Margaret Brewer (b.1780), who in turn is a daughter of Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834) and Catharine Mellinger. (This last claim should be confirmed by additional research).

It is conceivable that Henry Brewer and Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834) are brothers. This possibility would also fit with the belief that Henry Brewer was born between 1750 and 1760, rather than in 1775 as claimed in the "U.S. and International Marriage Records" entry. A web wide search using "Henry Brewer" and "Jane Hurdley" provided a few hits of interest. A Tree posted at RootsWeb's World Connect, titled "Hardin Clay Roots," places Henry Brewer and Benjamin Brewer (1755-1834) as sons of a Benjamin Brewer (b.1729) and his wife Mary. The post mentions a probate record for the older Benjamin Brewer (b.1729) in 1778 in Yohogania County, Virginia.** This probate record, or file, needs to be located.*** A 2005 post to the message board, Brewer Family Genealogy Forum at, offers some clues to evidence stating that Elizabeth Roney was a daughter of James Roney and Margaret Brewer, and refers to "Uncle Henry Brewer," in the context of his relationship to Margaret Brewer (it is stated that Henry signed Margaret's marriage bond).****

We are left here with some interesting leads to pursue with the goal of finding the actual record evidence needed to piece together the puzzle of Henry Brewer. I would encourage and ask anyone who does pursue Henry Brewer and his family further to please supply us with whatever evidence and conclusions you find (use the Comments feature below or e-mail me directly). If there are male descendants of Henry Brewer, through either his son Benjamin Brewer (1796-1885) or some other, yet unknown son, out there, we would ask you to consider joining the Brewer DNA Project by taking a Y-DNA test. The results of which should help us narrow down the possible ancestors of this Henry Brewer.

*The name of this database (U.S. and International Marriage Records) is deceiving in that the entries are not actual records. This is a problem with a number of databases created at, and is a warning that all that is found at that site is not necessarily reliable or acceptable as evidence.

**Yohogania County, Virginia is a defunct county which existed from 1776 to roughly 1779. After boundary disputes with Pennsylvania were settled, portions of the former Yohogania were then within Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania. Fayette Co., Pennsylvania was created in 1783 from portions of Westmoreland County.

***An e-mail sent to the submitter of the RootsWeb World Connect tree was replied to with the explanation that this was research from some years ago and the source of the probate record, and other claims, could not be recalled.

Yohogania Co., VA (in turquoise at top), Image downloaded from Wikipedia, 2013

****In addition, here is a list of BREWERs found in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, Pennsylvania between 1783 and 1840 (extracted from databases at Of note is a Mary Brewer who appears on the 1783 tax list at Huntingdon, Westmoreland Co. A woman would only be listed on a tax list if she were a widow. Perhaps this Mary Brewer, is the widow of Benjamin Brewer (b.1729) whose estate was probated in 1778 as per the un-sourced online World Connect tree mentioned.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Indenture between Elazerus Brewer and the Commissioners of the Loan Office of Monmouth Co., 1776

An indenture between Elazerus Brewer, of Shrewsbury, and the Commissioners of the Loan Office of Monouth County, dated 12 July 1776, is item No. 30 in Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II.

No. 30, Elazerus Brewer Indenture, 1776

In this indenture, which is in effect a mortgage, Elazerus Brewer is accepting a consideration of eighty-six pounds received from the Commissioners of the Loan Office, for a tract of land situate in Shrewsbury, that was conveyed to Elazerus by deed from James Williams dated 6 April 1772. The tract contains about one hundred acres and is bounded on the west by the Highway, on the north by Constant Hulit (Hulett), east by the brook, and south by other land of Elazerus Brewer. A repayment schedule is described in which Elazerus is to pay eight pounds, twelve shillings on the 25th of March of each year, for ten years, beginning in 1786.

This mortgage was taken out on the eve of the American Revolution, and at that time this Loan Office of Monmouth County would have been an entity of the British Crown. By the time 1786 rolled around, when Elazerus was to begin his repayment, the former American Colonies had won their independence, and the New Jersey Legislature was the governing entity in New Jersey. Was the Monmouth County Loan Office still in business? Was anyone there to accept or enforce collection of Elazerus' loan?

Details regarding Elazerus Brewer, sometimes referred to as Lazerus Brewer (or Brower) were covered in the December 18, 2013 post.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Brewer Families of New England Updated

The Brewer Families of New England website has been updated. The website serves as a genealogical research database for information, records and data collected on the various BREWER families who originated in colonial New England (and some of their descendants).

New to this updated edition is the inclusion of the results of a Y-DNA upgrade from 37 markers to 67 markers for a descendant of John Brewer who lived at Cambridge and then Sudbury, Massachuetts during the mid 1600s. We now have two descendants of John Brewer who have been tested at the 67 marker level. The results can be seen and compared on the DNA Analysis Page at the Brewer Families of New England website, and at the Y-DNA Results page at the Brewer DNA Project website. The advantage of the Y-DNA Results page at the Brewer DNA Project site is that it does allow for comparison between the numerous unrelated BREWER families that have been identified.

A simple chart showing the ancestries of the two participants in the Brewer DNA Project can be found on the Brewer Families of New England site. The two descendants match on 66 of 67 markers and their common ancestor is John Brewer (1669-1709), a grandson of the progenitor, who is often referred to as Lieut. John Brewer. He lived at Sudbury and Weston, Massachusetts and his wife was Hannah Jones (b. 1672).

Family Tree DNA's relationship calculator predicts a 95% probability of a common ancestor within 8 generations for two participants who match on 66 of 67 markers and have the same surname. In this case, the common ancestor, John Brewer (1669-1709) is nine generations in the past for one of the participants and seven generations in the past for the other. The two descendants are 7th cousins, twice removed.

Having two descendants of this one New England progenitor, John Brewer of Cambridge and Sudbury, establishes a genetic identity for this BREWER family. Others who come along in the future, and are unsure of an ancestry back to John Brewer of Cambridge and Sudbury, perhaps because of incomplete or lost records at one generation in their direct ancestry, can now join the Brewer DNA Project and have a direct male descendant take a Y-DNA test. The ensuing test results will tell whether or not the participant is a member of this New England Brewer family.

Much Thanks to the two descendants who participated in the Brewer DNA Project. I have no doubt that their test results will be of value to some future researchers. Not only would we like to see more descendants of John Brewer of Cambridge and Sudbury join the Project, but we would also very much like to see descendants of the other New England Brewer families join and contribute as well.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887), Y-DNA Test Update

Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887), was originally covered in the post of January 29, 2012. He initially lived at Clinton, Cass County, Indiana, and in about 1853 relocated to Jackson Twp., Lucas County, Iowa. We know from previous Y-DNA test results of a direct male descendant that Jeremiah John Brower is a descendant of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island.

The descendant of Jeremiah John Brower was initially tested at the 37 marker level. Over the past couple of years we have been finding that this level of testing and lower (12 or 25 markers) is too limited when attempting to place the tested descendant within the large tree of the earliest known ancestor's descendants. The 37 marker level of testing is useful for pointing to who the earliest known ancestor is (or is likely to be), but it is less useful for pointing to just where to place the descendant among the other descendants. It gets us into the ballpark, but it can't show us to our seat. An upgrade to at least the 67 marker level can help us better define the numerous lines of descendants and can narrow down the possible lineages for those whose complete ancestry is still unknown.

In this case of Jeremiah John Brower, the descendant has upgraded from the 37 marker test to the 67 marker test. What the additional results first tell us is that much of what was previously suggested, in the post of January 29, 2012, still holds up. That is, the tested descendant, and therefore his direct ancestor, Jeremiah John Brower, is most likely, and I would say near certainly, a descendant of Adam Brouwer's son, Nicholas Brouwer. This placement was previously expected because the tested descendant had an allele value of 14 at maker number nine (DYS439), as did other known descendants of Nicholas Brouwer. (Tested descendants of other sons of Adam Brouwer have the value of 13 at this marker). Over the past year, and previous to the upgrade of this test, two other participants who are descended from Adam Brouwer, and who also have the value of 14 at marker nine, had taken the 67 marker test. The first, kit #285309, is a known descendant of Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont. The second, #293571, is a descendant of Mathew Brower of Greene Co., Pennsylvania. These two tests match on only 63 of 67 markers with each other, and so the question coming into this was, which kit would the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower more closely match at 67 markers.

The answer is, the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower matches the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate on 66 of 67 markers (a "one-step difference") and matches the descendant of Mathew Brower on only 62 of 67 markers (a "five-step difference"). As both of the descendants previously tested at 67 markers are descendants of Nicholas Brouwer (by reason of the appearance of value 14 at marker nine), we can now, with these additional test results, state with confidence that the descendant of Jeremiah John Brower is a closer cousin of the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, the two share a common ancestor somewhere between the tested descendants and Nicholas Brouwer.

As was first stated in the post of January 29, 2012, was born in 1815, in New York (State). He is first seen in his marriage record dated 4 February 1849 at Cass County, Indiana. His wife was Sarah Jane Woods, and they are found on the 1850 U. S. census at Clinton, Cass County, Indiana. It is believed that Jeremiah John Brower, is a son of John Brower, who is found on the 1840 census in Cass County, Indiana, with a household of 1 male age 20-30 (Jeremiah John, assuming he is the son of John), 1 male age 70-80 (John, who then would have been born between 1760 and 1770), and 1 female age 20-30 (presumed to be a sister of Jeremiah John). What we take from this is that, if we accept the notion that John Brower was the father of Jeremiah John Brower, then he is the earliest known ancestor of the tested descendant, and was born in the decade of the 1760s.

Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont, is the earliest known ancestor of the descendant tested in kit #285309, which is a 66 of 67 match to Jeremiah John Brower's descendant. Jeremiah Brower of Highgate was born in 1738. His first known child, a son William, was born in 1766. The first thought is that it is possible that John Brower of Cass County, Indiana, is a son of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. However, Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, did have a son named John George Brewer, born in 1792. It is not impossible that Jeremiah could have named two sons, John. Especially if the second John was born to a different mother and over 22 years after the first John was born. But, it is not common, and thus far we have not seen anything else that would tell us that Jeremiah Brower of Highgate had a son John who was born in the 1760s. I do not think it is likely that John Brower of Cass County, is a son of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. However, we still have the fact that his tested descendant is closely related to a descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate.

Jeremiah Brower of Highgate is likely a son of Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes. This placement has not been, and likely cannot be proved. Reason for this belief is covered in an earlier post on Jeremiah Brower of Highgate. In his Loyalist Claim of 1786, Jeremiah Brower of Highgate names a Nicholas Brower of Newtown, as a witness. This Nicholas Brower has been one of the more allusive Browers of the mid 1700s. I do have a mention of a Nicholas Brewer and a Jeremiah Brewer on tax lists in the Half Moon District, Albany County, New York on 2 March 1779 and 29 October 1779, but have been unable to find the original source. In 1790, a Jeremiah Brewer is on the U. S. census at Half Moon, Albany Co. (1 male over 16, 1 male under 16, 3 females), and in 1800 a Jeremiah Brewer is at Stillwater, Saratoga Co. Neither of the last two are Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, but they could be sons of the Nicholas Brewer who he references in his Loyalist Claim. In 1800, 1820 and 1830, there is a John Brower at Petersburg, Rensselaer Co., New York. In 1830 he is aged 60-70, placing his birth at between 1760 and 1770. There is also one male aged 15-20 (so born between 1810 and 1815) in the household, along with two females age 20-30 and one age 60-70. In 1840, no man named John Brower is found at Petersburg, New York, but, John Brower, age 70-80 does make his first appearance in Cass County, Indiana. Newtown, Half Moon, Stillwater, and Petersburg are all within the same area of what was originally Albany County, which was since split into Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties. There is nothing conclusive in any of the above, however, I think that all of these records, taken as a whole, offer a possible answer to where Jeremiah John Brower fits into the larger picture of descendants of Adam Brouwer's son Nicholas Brouwer, and is consistent with the DNA test results that demonstrate that he is most closely related to descendants of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate.

Based upon what is known now, the best placement for Jeremiah John Brower (1815-1887) is that he is a son of John Brower (b. 1760-1770) of Cass County, Indiana, who may have previously been of Petersburg, New York (1800-1830). In turn, John Brower may be a son of Nicholas Brewer (Brower) of Newtown in 1786 (and Half Moon in 1779). Nicholas Brewer, may then be a brother of Jeremiah Brower (Brewer) of Highgate, Vermont. The common ancestor of the tested descendant of Jeremiah John Brower and of the descendant of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate (kit #285309) would be the presumed parents of Jeremiah Brower of Highgate, namely, Jurge Brouwer and Elizabeth Holmes.

The difficult part will of course be trying to prove the above with actual records and genealogical analysis and reasoning that meets present day standards. In fact, considering the scarcity of records form the mid to late 1700s in the area of Half Moon, New York, it might be impossible. But still, we can look, and hopefully that will be augmented by more descendants of Adam Brouwer signing up and taking Y-DNA tests with the Brewer DNA Project.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Only 10 More Days for the Family Tree DNA Sale!

Family Tree DNA's end of the year sale is almost over. Only ten days left. The sale ends on December 31st, 2013.

This sale is a terrific opportunity for those who have previously tested at just the 12, 25 or 37 marker levels, to upgrade to the 67 marker level. Doing so will add much more valuable data to the results we presently have. If everyone could upgrade to 67 markers, we may be able to do a better job of sorting out, separating and getting a better idea of all of the different lines of descent from the Earliest Known Ancestor.

In the past month, during this sale, we've already had one descendant of Adam Brouwer upgrade to 67 markers. The upgrade has given us a better handle on just where the participant's ancestral line should be among the descendants of Adam Brouwer. More on this in a future post. It would, however, be a great help if we could get other members who are descendants of Adam Brouwer, and especially those who are descendants of his son Nicholas Brouwer, to upgrade to the 67 marker level.

So, please consider an upgrade, and take advantage of Family Tree DNA's remaining ten days of sale prices. Upgrading can be done through your individual accounts, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.

And Happy Holiday Season to Everyone
(Photo by C. Chester, snow fall by T.J. White)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jacob Brewer of Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Recent focus at this website has been on BREWERs found in western Pennsylvania, primarily in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. Next to be mentioned is Jacob Brewer of Unity, Pennsylvania.

Jacob Brewer is found on the 1800 U. S. Federal census at Unity, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He is over the age of 45 and has a household of 1 male under 5, 1 male over 45 (assumed to be Jacob), 1 female under 10, 2 females 10-15, and 1 female aged 26-44. To date, this census record, along with the baptism record of his son John, are the only records, we have of Jacob Brewer. Additional research should be conducted in the land records for Westmoreland County.

Jacob Brewer, 1800 Unity, Westmoreland Co., Pa. (NARA, image downloaded from
Jacob is not found in Unity on the 1810 census (a visual search of the pages for Unity in 1810, available at, found no persons named BREWER). In 1820, a "Widow" Brewer is found on the U. S. census at Unity with a household of 1 male age 10-15, 1 male 16-18, 1 male 16-25, 2 females 16-25, and 1 female over 45.

Widow Brewer, 1820 Unity, Westmoreland Co., Pa. (NARA, image downloaded from
I am assuming that the two census records belong to the same family and that Jacob was deceased prior to 1820. This assumption may, in the end, turn out to be incorrect, but for now it is an assumption that I prefer to stick with. Jacob Brewer's wife's name was Rebecca (baptism record of son John). If the 1820 census record belongs to her, then she would have been born between the years of 1756 and 1774.

Two members of the Brewer DNA Project claim a direct ancestry from Jacob Brewer. They are kit #s 32612 and 58286, and are grouped on the Y-DNA Results page under Jacob Brewer (color code Red). Brief pedigree information submitted by the two project members can be found on the Results page. Neither pedigree names Jacob's wife, and one pedigree is less sure about their earliest known ancestor's connection to Jacob. What is known is that the two members match on 12 of 12 markers, and therefore most likely have a common direct male ancestor who lived within the relatively recent past. While one member has been tested at 37 markers, the other has only been tested at 12 marker. Ideally, the 12 marker test should be upgraded to 37 markers. This upgrade would add more certainty as to what degree these two members are related.

The two earliest known ancestors (EKA) for each tested member are John Brewer (1793-1871) for #32612 (tested at 37 markers), and James Brewer (1806-1879) for #58286 (tested at 12 markers). Traditional genealogical research for the ancestries of each of the two tested descendants, back to their claimed EKAs, confirms the pedigrees submitted by each descendant. Research was conducted using and a "Tree" with Jacob Brewer and Rebecca as the earliest ancestors can be found within the Tree titled, "Uplaced Brouwer Brower Brewer Bruer." (See Jacob Brewer).

The two tests results predict that those tested belong to haplogroup I2b1. Neither member matches any other person named BREWER in the project. Therefore, we know that Jacob Brewer (assuming that he is the correct ancestor for both) is most likely unrelated to any other BREWER family found in America prior to 1800, for whom descendants have taken a Y-DNA test.

Of the two EKAs, both believed to be sons of Jacob Brewer, John Brewer was the older of the two. John died on 6 March 1871, aged, according to his grave marker, 77 years, 4 months and 15 days. This gives him a calculated birth date of 19 October 1793. John Brewer was baptized on 6 April 1794 at St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. The baptism record gives his birth date as 17 October 1793, and states that his parents are Jacob and Rebecca Brewer. This is the source for Jacob Brewer's wife's name (it can be seen on John Brewer's wife was Jane Varner, and they lived their entire lives in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. They can be found in Salem Township on the U. S. census records in 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870. In 1830, John is enumerated in Washington Township. Jane (Varner) Brewer died 14 June 1875, aged 79 years, 9 months, 14 days. Both John and Jane are buried in St. James Lutheran Church Cemetery in Perrysville, Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania. They had nine children and the descendant who took the Y-DNA test is descended from their son, Christopher Brewer (1825-1901) who also lived his entire life in Westmoreland County.

James Brewer (James W. Brewer on his gravestone) is the EKA for the other Brewer DNA Project member. He was born in 1806 and died 20 December 1879 in Clay County, Indiana. He is buried in the Center Point Cemetery in Clay County. James Brewer's wife was Elizabeth Arnold, and she was 12 or 13 years his junior, having been born in 1818 according to her grave marker. She died in 1909. Her surname is taken from Family Trees found on, and her descendants who created the pages have a large enough collection of photographs and other material for me not to doubt the assertion. James appears to have gotten a late start on family life. His twelve children are born between 1839 and 1863, when he was aged 33 to 57. His family can be found on the U. S. census records at Washington, Clay County, Indiana in 1850, 1860 and 1870. Elizabeth is enumerated as the head of the household there in 1880, and in 1900 she is in the household of her son, Andrew J. Brewer at Sugar Ridge, Clay Co., Indiana. In 1840, James Brewer was found at Sugar Creek, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. That this is the same James Brewer who appears at Washington, Indiana in 1850, is supported by the fact that his first four children were born in Ohio. His wife, Elizabeth, was also born in Ohio, so it appears that James ventured there, from Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, on his own, prior to being married. In 1830, a James Brewer is enumerated on the U. S. census at Unity, Westmoreland Co., Pa. The household has 1 male 5-10, 2 males 20-30, 1 female 10-14, 1 female 20-30, and 1 female 60-70. Assuming that this is our James Brewer, then he would account for one of the males aged 20-30, and his mother could be the female age 60-70 (meaning she was born between 1760 and 1770). Who the others are is impossible to say. Perhaps a married sister with her husband and two children? Here is another reason why the land records of Westmoreland County should be checked.
     Of the twelve children of James Brewer, the youngest, Israel Brewer (1862-1951), is the ancestor of the descendant who is a member of the Brewer DNA Project. It is apparent that James Brewer had a lot of descendants. Although it appears likely that he is a brother of John Brewer, that assumption can be strengthened by the Y-DNA testing of additional male descendants using at least a 37 marker test. It should be emphasized that the placement of James Brewer as a son of Jacob Brewer, at this time, is not entirely certain.

Descendants of Jacob Brewer (again assuming that both John and James are his sons) are numerous. In addition to his son John and his assumed son, James, it appears that Jacob and Rebecca had at least two daughters who have not yet been identified. Many of Jacob's descendants were easy enough to trace using the databases and resources at, and anyone living today who is a descendant of Jacob Brewer, should have no trouble finding their place in his family. What is very much unknown is Jacob Brewer's origins. His son John was baptized in Maryland in 1793. No man named Jacob Brewer (or variant of the name) has been located in Maryland in a search of the 1790 census. History of Indiana County, Pennsylvania (Newark, Ohio: J. A. Caldwell, 1880) at page 774, includes a brief biography of David Brewer (b. 1828), son of John Brewer and therefore, grandson of Jacob Brewer. The biography does not mention Jacob Brewer, but does state that David's father, John Brewer, "was a son of John (sic) Brewer, a native of England, and was an early settler of Derry Township." Perhaps Jacob Brewer was from England, and came first to the area of Baltimore, Maryland, just prior to the birth of his son, and then settled at Unity Township (which is adjacent to Derry Twp.) in Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, just prior to 1800.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Note of Lazarus Brewer and William Brewer, 1759

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, No. 29, is a copy of a note signed by Lazarus Brewer and William Brewer.

No. 29, Note Signed by Lazarus Brewer and William Brewer

The note was dated 24 February 1759, and presented at the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas in 1769, which no doubt, was a follow up to William Brewer's appearance at that same court in 1768 (see the previous post of December 15, 2013).

In the original bond, Lazarus and William are described as "Lazarus Brower & William Brower sons of Adam Brower both of the town of Shrewsbury in the County of Monmouth & Province of East New Jersey." They are bonded to Samuel Wardell, of Shrewsbury, for the sum of sixty pounds.

William Brewer (Brower) was briefly profiled in the previous post. Lazarus Brower, more often referred to as Elazerus Brewer, was his younger brother, born either 23 June 1730 or 23 May 1731, depending on what source you wish to go with. William A. D. Eardeley in his 1923 manuscript, "Brower Genealogy and Langdon Genealogy," lists both dates which he says were obtained from a copied Bible record received from "a Lady in Freeport, Long Island." He notes the discrepancy in the dates in the record he was given, and on page 31 of his manuscript takes the opportunity to question the reliability of the record he was given. (The manuscript is online. It is a large file that must be downloaded). I get the impression that William A. D. Eardeley never saw the actual Bible record himself. In my own questioning of others who have also researched this family, I have yet to receive a positive reply from anyone when asked if they have actually seen this Bible record first hand. Apparently, the "Lady in Freeport," gave him two copies of the Bible record, but four five of the nine children, the birth dates are different in each of the two copies. Eardeley states that the variations in the two copies of the Bible records that he received are enough to make him reject both. The birth dates have since been repeated elsewhere. I choose to present the birth dates of the  children of Adam Brewer with the phrase, "Said to be born" (followed by the date, or dates).

Elazerus Brewer, sometimes referred to as Lazerus Brewer or Brower (as in this note) was married to Frances Morris, a daughter of John Morris and Francyntie (Frances) White. Their New Jersey marriage license is dated 25 June 1755. They had seven children, the first said to be born 16 September 1754 (which pre-dates their marriage license), and the last 15 April 1766.

Elazerus is found in Monmouth County, New Jersey up to and through the years of the Revolutionary War. His son Aaron Robbins Brewer remained loyal to the British and removed to Ontario, Canada. Elazerus is said, by grandchildren in testimony to settle his estate, to have died in Ontario, Canada, on 31 March 1820.

In 2012, Lawrence Lippert, published in Monmouth Connection, volume 23, "The Paper Trail of Elazerus Brewer." It was featured in the May 19, 2013 post on this website.

A descendant of Elazerus Brewer has participated in the Brewer DNA Project, and his Y-DNA test results clearly match those of other descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. Additional info and source citations can be found at the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"The Goods and Chattles" of William Brewer

"The Goods and Chattels" of William Brewer is No. 28 as found in Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II. It is a handwritten document and according to notes found in the margins by the person who originally procured the copy, it is from the Monmouth County Archives, Court of Common Pleas, 1768. The file is a PDF and you will have to download the file so it can be rotated (and this will have to be done twice as the second page is upside down. Sorry, but sometimes the scanning software seems to have a mind of its own).

No. 28, The Goods and Chattels of William Brewer

I have not taken the time to transcribe the entire document, but it can be seen on the fourth line down that this William Brewer was the son of Adam Brewer, of the town of Shrewsbury. He is specifically referred to as "William Brewer, otherwise called, William Brower," in the document. It appears that the issue being addressed here is a debt of sixty pounds owed by William Brewer to Samuel Wardell.

William Brewer, the son of Adam Brewer and Deborah Allen, was said to have been born 9 May 1722 at Shrewsbury. This date is from a Bible record that I have not personally seen, but was said to exist in the earlier part of the 20th century. (This record is, to my knowledge, first reported by William Applebie Daniel Eardeley in his manuscript, "Brower Genealogy 1615-1884 and Langdon Genealogy 1625-1876," written in 1923. It has since been repeated elsewhere). William's parents were Quakers and so no baptism records for their children are found, and this claimed Bible record is all we have for birth dates for Adam and Deborah's children for now. William's mother, Deborah Allen, was a descendant of George Allen who came to Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1635, and settled at Sandwich, Massachusetts. His grandson of the same name, George Allen, was born in 1672 at Sandwich, Massachusetts, and came to Shrewsbury, New Jersey as a young man. At Shrewsbury he married Elizabeth Hullett, and they are the parents of Deborah Allen.

William Brewer was married to Sarah Allen. She was a daughter of Jonathan Allen and Mary Corlies, and a descendant of Ralph Allen who died at Sandwich, Massachusetts in about 1659. Ralph Allen's son Jedediah Allen, relocated from Sandwich, Massachusetts to Shrewsbury, New Jersey, along with other Quakers, and he is the grandfather of William Brewer's wife, Sarah Allen. Proof of some family relationship between George Allen and Ralph Allen has not been discovered. The principal source for the Allen families of Shrewsbury is Charles Carroll Gardiner's, "George Allen of Sandwich, Massachusetts," (1941), which was published in his series, "Genealogical Dictionary of New Jersey," originally published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, and later published in book form in, Genealogies of New Jersey Families, From the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey (2 Vols.), (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996). Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Vol. 1, A-B, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, online at, 1999), has a sketch of George Allen, and includes, in the "Comments," segment, a discussion of two men named Ralph Allen. Anyone interested in researching the Allen families of Shrewsbury is advised to begin with these two sources.

William J. Hoffman, in his "Brouwer Beginnings" manuscript notes, lists six children for William Brewer and Sarah Allen. These are sons, Adam Brewer (if he married, the name of his wife is not known), David Brewer (wife Ann Morris, see the previous post), John Brewer (wife Miriam Allen, who is a descendant of Ralph Allen), and a daughter, Mary Brewer (married James Pearce). I listed four, after mentioning that Hoffman had six, but the other two, a son Peter and a daughter Hannah, are less certain. It may be that they were confused for other Brewers of the same given names who also lived at Shrewsbury. I prefer not to include them unless further evidence is located (Hoffman did not list sources in his manuscript notes). A date of death for William Brewer has not been found, but he is mentioned in his father's will dated 22 August 1768.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Sale of Lands of David Brewer

Abstracts of Early Monmouth County Court Papers, Part II, No. 27, is from the Monmouth County Orphans Court Deed Book L, page 307. The matter was addressed at the November 1810 term. It is essentially a record of the sales of various parcels of land which previously belonged to David Brewer, who was since deceased.

No. 27, Land of David Brewer, Deceased

The file needs to be rotated, and it is recommended that you download the file to do so. The handwriting is also a bit small and cramped and you will need to enlarge the image for a clearer read.

This David Brewer was born in 1758, a son of Willam Brewer and Sarah Allen, and a grandson of Adam Brewer and Deborah Allen. He is a great-great grandson of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, L. I. David was married to Ann Morris and had eight children who are primarily identified through his will (dated 16 August 1804), and records found in the cases before the Monmouth County Orphan's Court. David Brewer was deceased by 19 September 1804, when an inventory was taken of his estate.

Among those purchasing land is a Robert Brower, who bought 14 acres for twenty-one dollars. The only possible identification I can make for this Robert Brower is that he is David Brewer's son, Robert, who is mentioned in the will. The will specifically left land, only, to David's son Isaac. The other children mentioned were to divide the "remainder" of the estate. To date, I have found little else regarding Robert Brower (or Brewer).

Another purchaser of David's land was Annamiah Gifford, who was born about 1786, and was married to David's daughter, Elizabeth Brewer.

More details and sources regarding David Brewer can be located at the Brouwer Genealogy Database.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Indenture between Charles Parker and Adam Brewer, Monmouth Co., New Jersey

The second batch of papers from the court records at Monmouth County, New Jersey, collected by William B. Bogardus, are attributed to descendants of Adam Brouwer of Gowanus, Long Island. Abstracts of the papers was placed online on December 11, 2011 and you are referred to the post from that date for an overview. The documents in this part are numbered 26 through 50, and here is a quick link to the abstracts. An effort will be made to get the complete documents online over the course of the next couple of months.

Document no. 26 is an indenture dated 25 September 1815, between Charles Parker, Esq., High Sheriff of Monmouth County, and Adam Brewer, of Howell Township, Monmouth County.

No. 26. Indenture between Charles Parker and Adam Brewer

The wording in the indenture is tedious, and the handwriting is small. I have not taken time to attempt a complete transcription. It is here for anyone who wishes to. The "goods and chattels of William Tilton and Thomas Tilton," are mentioned, as are sums of money, including a seven thousand dollar debt (which is a large sum for that time). Another name that appears in the document looks to be that of a Benjamin Colifs.

This Adam Brewer is most certainly a descendant of Adam Brewer (1696-1768/9) who was the original settler in Monmouth County. He would most likely be the Adam Brewer, born about 1752, son of William Brewer and Sarah Allen. This Adam Brewer's land was mentioned in the 26 February 1811 will of Thomas Tilton, of Howell Twp. In August of 1815, he was sued by Jacob Croxon over a bound of fifteen hundred dollars. A marriage for, or descendants of, this Adam Brewer have not yet been discovered.

Howell Township was created in 1801, from parts of Shrewsbury Township. In 1850, portions of Howell Twp. were taken off to form Brick Twp., in the newly created Ocean County. In 1851, a portion was taken to form Wall Twp. in Monmouth County. The Borough of Farmingdale (Monmouth Co.) was created in 1903. [John F. Snyder, The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries, 1606-1968, New Jersey Geological Survey, Bulletin 67, 1969, 2004, page 180].

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Findings on Ancient DNA

Yesterday's New York Times (December 4, 2013) has an article by Carl Zimmer regarding new evidence relating to the ancient biological origins of humans.

"Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins"

The article is of interest to those of us who have taken part in the National Geographic's GENO 2.0 Project, and are curious as to just why we were shown to have a relatively higher level of Denisoven DNA when compared to Neanderthal DNA, despite the fact that our known genealogical history is strictly European. Previously, Denisoven DNA was only known from an example dating back 80,000 years and found in Siberia. But now, Denisoven DNA has been identified as early as 400,000 years, and was taken from a sample found in Spain.

The PBS News Hour website posted a similar article by Rebecca Johnson, with a more beguiling title, "Oldest known human DNA reveals we're 'complete mongrels.'"

Monday, December 2, 2013

More Records of the Harlingen Reformed Dutch Church

Back in the spring of this year I had placed online some PDFs of the Records of the Harlingen Reformed Dutch Church (Montgomery Twp., Somerset Co., New Jersey) that were published in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, volumes 17 (from page 80 on), 18, 19 and 20. In addition, there was a post dedicated to the "Earliest Baptismal Records of the Church of Harlingen," which appeared in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 40. I would normally suggest using the "Search this Blog" feature at the right to find the original posts, however, it is presently not working. This is a Google Blogger problem that seems to occur every so often (it has been unavailable for better then a week, and it effects all blogs created with Google's Blogger). In the meantime (until it is fixed), if you do a general Google search (at their main page) using the search terms, "Reformed Dutch Church of Harlingen, Brouwer Genealogy," (without the quotes) you should get the posts from this past spring right at the top of the search list.

The purpose of this post, is to add three more PDFs to what is already online. The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey had begun publication of the Harlingen Reformed Dutch Church records with volume 15 (1940). Below are links for the records as published in volumes 15, 16 and 17 (to page 64).

Harlingen RDC Records, GMNJ v. 15 (1940)

Harlingen RDC Records, GMNJ v. 16 (1941)

Harlingen RDC Records, GMNJ v. 17 (1942) (to page 64)

The introduction in volume 15, at page 2, mentions the "Earliest Records" that were published in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 40 (1909), and describes them as "inaccurate and generally unsatisfactory," and what appeared in the NYGBR is reprinted in the GMNJ, volume 15, "corrected, of course."

I only took the time to compare one record between the two versions. It was the only record that pertained to a BROUWER in the NYGBR version. At page 284 of NYGBR, vol. 40, is the baptism record, dated Oct. 15, 1727, of "Sarah, dau. Henry Brewis & Rachel Bunn.; wits.: Rachel Crom & Margaret Crom." The corresponding record, as it appears in the GMNJ, vol. 15, page 61, gives the child's name as "Sara," the parents as "Hendrik Brouwer, Rachel Bon," and the witnesses as "Willem Krom, Margriet Krom."